Idaho Examiner - Sen. Larry Craig News Releases

Thursday, November 17, 2005

FEDS HELP COUNTIES WITH ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION COSTS

Craig praises program that reimburses counties for incarceration costs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Justice announced today the approval of funds to help reimburse local law enforcement with the cost of incarcerating illegal aliens. Sixteen Idaho counties and the Idaho Department of Corrections received funds through the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program.

Idaho Senator Larry Craig praised the announcement, “Illegal immigration costs society at all levels. However, local taxpayers should not bear the cost of incarcerating them when it is a failure of policy at the federal level. This program is just one way the federal government can ease the burden. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will continue to do what I can to see this program is adequately funded.”

Administered through the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the program was one of a handful of Justice programs to receive an increase during the Fiscal Year 2006 budget cycle – from $305 million to $405 million. The Senate approved the bill today, sending it to the President for his signature.

In related news, in a November 10, 2005 letter Craig joined 33 of his Senate colleagues urging the President to continue funding in his 2007 budget for the border security initiatives that were added in Fiscal Year 2006. The personnel and program increases referenced include: an additional 2,000 border patrol agents; an expansion of the detention and removal program; modernization of the Customs and Border Protection air and marine fleets; additional immigration judges; and additional Assistant United States Attorneys to prosecute human smugglers. Earlier this year, Craig and West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd joined forces to secure the increases in an effort to stem illegal immigration and human smuggling.

Craig emphasized, “While border security is important, we will not get a handle on illegal immigration until we reform our guest worker programs and improve the economy world-wide. People come here because of the opportunities America offers. I am proud of that and thank God we live in a country that people risk their lives to enter rather than a country that people risk their lives to leave.”

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